As some of you know, I’ve been prepping for a little over 3 years now. Believe me when I say that I have probably made every prepping mistake in the book. It’s time I admit to these mistakes and begin using them as a learning experiences for those of you who are beginning their preparedness efforts.
8 Rookie Mistakes
Take a deep breath, sit down and make an emergency plan. Decide what emergency you are preparing for and what supplies you will need. Try and stay within a certain emergency time frame and work your way up to larger scale emergencies. For example, begin planning for a 72 hour emergency and work your way up to a short term emergency and later, a larger scale or long term emergency.
Take your time and properly plan how you are going to open up your budget so that you can attain these emergency items. Cutting out the extraneous spending in your budget can free up a lot of extra cash. The money saved can be used toward your future preparedness items. Make the choice of using the new found preparedness money or save it for a more expensive prep. Either way, you will accumulate a little at a time and not break the budget.
Personal Experience – One mistake I remember (and am still paying for) was when my husband and I decided to get a short term food supply. We hadn’t really researched what it takes to maintain your family’s health during a short term emergency so we impulsively went out and bought $200 in canned goods. Needless to say that we are still living off of that canned good investment. Looking back, we could have used that $200 in a more constuctive manner.
Don’t always believe the experts.
Listen to what the experts say, but make the decision that is best for your family and your needs. Some expert’s advice is driven by what makes them the most money or what other experts are saying at the time. Make a list of what items you are looking for and research those items (include reading the customer reviews).
Personal Experience – An expert was telling everyone that they should have a certain brand of hiking boots. Well, I went out and bought them because “the expert” said I should. Because I didn’t research the boots (and the specs about the boot), after purchasing it; I made the realization that they were way too heavy for me. Luckily, I was able to return the boots and get my money back. After I researched and read customer reviews, I went out and invested in a different pair of hiking boots that were perfect for what I needed.
Don’t buy cheap preps.
Trying to save money here and there is great, but when you are investing in survival gear, you want to make sure the investment is worth the money spent. Begin looking at your purchase as an investment for your future. You want that product to last and do it’s desired function with minimal hassel. And you want to be able to depend on that product to see you through an emergency. On another note, whatever items or tools you buy, make sure you use it. If you invest money and buy an item that you do not know how to use, it’s useless.
Personal Experience – I wanted to save a few bucks and bought a basic sleeping bag that didn’t have any bells or whistles. Later on down the line, I realized the sleeping bag was way too bulky, weighed too much for a bug out situation and had no capacity to really keep someone warm. I ended up investing in an ultralight backpack that keeps me toasty when I need it the most and is feather light. Although I made a mistake with the first sleeping bag, I am using it as a back up, so the investment was not a complete loss. Other items I have found that are worth spending extra money on are good toothbrushes, survival tools, water filtration systems and survival knives.